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July 23, 2009 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-07-23

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Cruisirf For A. Cause

Mentor Connection supporters enjoy a night of boating on the Detroit River.

Norm Keane, Jewish Family Service executive director, of West Bloomfield and

Michael Colton of Franklin and Judy Stern of Pontiac, event co-chairs

Adam Orley of Bloomfield Township


t was decades ago when life took a dramatic turn for Dr. Kenneth Colton of _inn
Arbor. When he was just 8, his father died. But, Colton, now 52, found comfort, sup-
port and a father figure in the late Walter Farber, a mentor he met through social
workers at Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit.
"I got to know him for five years before he passed away," said Colton. "He helped fill
a void. It helped me through a rough time in my life and at the time, I probably didn't
appreciate it as much as I did later on."
Now a husband and father of three boys of his own, Colton
is a supporter of Mentor Connection, an Oakland County youth
mentoring organization that's part of TES. Ln 2008, the group
served 164 children.
"Especially with the state of the economy in Michigan, the
need for mentors has grown," said the program's director,
Michelle Malamis of Livonia. "There are approximately 800
yamg people in Metro Detroit who need mentors that we know
of. Our program has more than 40 kids on our waiting list right
now, all boys. Some are missing a parental role model due to
divorce, illness or incarceration."
About 100 people gathered July 16 for "Rockin' the Boat,"

an evening of boating, dinner and live music on the Detroit River aboard the Detroit
Princess Riverboat to raise awareness and funds for Mentor Connection. A raffle for cash
prizes was also held. Dr. Colton just happened to win the 510,000 grand prize.
"It's the biggest thing I've ever won," he said. "I'm going to donate part of it to Mentor
Connection and to another charity I support2
The organization is looking for mentors who can make a three-month commitment
to otter career-focused job shadowing for young people ages 16-22. They're also seeking
mentors to spend time with young people a few times a month over the course of a year,
doing things like going to museums, gardening or playing sports.
"I would certainly encourage people who are able to do it and have the rime to
share:' said Colton. "It's a very valuable
To become a mentor, you must be 18
Spotted in the riverboat crowd were:
or older, pass a background check
Richard Cherka.sky and Glenn Pavey.
and participate in an interview and
both of Franklin; Adam Orley ot
training. Cali operations coordinator,
Bloomfield Township; Amanda Warner
Katie Holden, for more information,
of Birmingham; Micki Grossman of
(248) 592-1193, or send her an e-mail
Farmington Hills; and Alicia and Rabbi
message at khoiden@jfsdetroit.org
David Nelson of Southfield. -1

Ellen and Paul Chute of Farmington Hills

Susie Citron of Birmingham and Jennifer

Sharon and Tim Nicolia of Royal Oak

Friedman of Huntington Woods


Natalie and David Herskovic of Berkley

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